By Hassan Zaggi
Governments at all levels have been advised to make prostate cancer screening including Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test and Digital Rectal Examination (DRE) compulsory once a man who is 40 years old and above visits any public hospital in the country.
The Executive Director of Project Pink Blue- a cancer awareness advocacy organization, Mr. Runcie Chidebe, gave the advice in Abuja at a media briefing to present the result of a research on prostate cancer awareness, health behavior and attitudes in Nigeria.
The research was conducted by Project Pick Blue and supported by ACT Foundation.
Prostate cancer is the third leading cause of cancer deaths in Nigeria. It is also the leading cause of cancer deaths among men in Nigeria.
Chidebe also advised the federal government to make health insurance mandatory just the same way car insurance is made compulsory.
In order to enable Nigerian men to be aware of the gravity of having prostate cancer, he advocated that,” there is the need for the federal, state and local governments to kick-off national prostate cancer awareness programme,” reiterating that: “We are losing our fathers, brothers, mentors and other relations due to prostate cancer.”
According to him: “Religious communities should adopt prostate cancer screening for all their members. Companies should make prostate cancer screening mandatory for their personnel where the prostate screening are covered by their insurance. There is the need for prostate cancer awareness materials to promote prostate cancer risk factors, screening and early detection in Nigeria.”
Speaking on the research methodology, Mr Chidebe revealed that: “We mobilized over 3000 men in Enugu, Abuja and Lagos. Over 10,000 were reached with awareness and over 15 million were indirectly reached through our television, radio and social media campaigns.”
He further disclosed that his organization- Project Pink Blue has concluded plans to roll out similar research project in new communities, explaining that: “We are delighted to announce that we will implement the project in Niger, Rivers, Edo states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).